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Clowning Around With Christopher Walken And His Brothers In 1955

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In 1955, 12-year-old Christopher Walken dressed as a clown. Well, not quite. Back then the child star was called Ronald Walken, one of a family of child actors with his brothers Glenn and Ken.

It was as Ronald Walken, he made his screen debut, featuring in the 1953 NBC sitcom Wonderful John Acton about an Irish-American family living in the Ohio River Valley, Kentucky, in 1919. The show, which ran for 13 episodes, starred Walken as 12-year-old Kevin acting out the reminiscences of his adult self who narrates the story each week.

It sounds a lot like The Waltons, which went on for ever and ever and ever.

 

circa 1955:  Child actor Ronnie Walken, who later found fame as  Hollywood star Christopher Walken, wearing a clown's greasepaint at his home in Brayside, Long Island.  (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Child actor Ronnie Walken, who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, wearing a clown’s greasepaint at his home in Brayside, Long Island. (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

 

He became Christopher in 1964.

Walken would go on to greatness in the movies, starring in such treats as The Deer Hunter, True Romance, King of New York, The Dead Zone and Hairspray.

Glenn and Ken also acted professionally.

Glenn appeared in Apocalypse Now (1979), Guiding Light (1952) and The World of Mr. Sweeney (1954). Ken has appeared in The Big Story (1949), Johnny Staccato (1959) and Perry Mason (1957).

 

circa 1955:  Child actor Ronnie Walken (right), who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, with his brothers and fellow child actors Glenn (right) and Ken in the living room of their home in Bayside, Long Island.  (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Child actor Ronnie Walken (right), who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, with his brothers and fellow child actors Glenn (right) and Ken in the living room of their home in Bayside, Long Island. (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955:  Child actor Ronnie Walken, who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, painting his face with greasepaint, at his home in Bayside, Long Island.  (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Child actor Ronnie Walken, who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, painting his face with greasepaint, at his home in Bayside, Long Island. (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955:  Young clown Ronnie Walken, later film star Christopher Walken, performing for an audience of young neighbours.  (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Young clown Ronnie Walken, later film star Christopher Walken, performing for an audience of young neighbours. (Photo by Al Barry/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Refrigerator Raid

circa 1955:  Young television stars Glenn (left) and Ronnie Walken, later film star Christopher Walken, roll out dough for pie crusts at their father's bakery.  (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Young television stars Glenn (left) and Ronnie Walken, later film star Christopher Walken, roll out dough for pie crusts at their father’s bakery. (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955:  Child actor Ronnie Walken who later found fame as  Hollywood star Christopher Walken, enjoying a pillow fight with his brothers and fellow child stars at their home in Bayside, Long Island.  (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

circa 1955: Child actor Ronnie Walken who later found fame as Hollywood star Christopher Walken, enjoying a pillow fight with his brothers and fellow child stars at their home in Bayside, Long Island. (Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)